Wired Glass Risks Remain a Concern in Schools, Public Areas
The Canadian General Standards Board’s recently-established
committee on glass held its first meeting in late May to discuss potential
changes to the federal standard for wired glass. The standard has not
been updated since 1990.
The meeting addressed the issue of wired glass and the dangers it poses
in public areas—an issue that garnered much attention recently as the
result of a $5 million (CAD) lawsuit filed by Sean Lloyd against the Halton
Catholic District School Board in Ontario, Canada (see related article
in June 2014 USGlass, page 28).
Despite the media buzz that followed, Lloyd’s lawsuit isn’t the only one
of its kind currently in motion. According to court documents obtained
by USGlass, at least three more cases involving wired glass are
pending—two others in Ontario and another in New Jersey.
Both Ontario cases were filed in 2010 but are still in the process of
motioning back-and-forth, according to Greg Abel, president of Safe Glass
Consulting and director of government relations for Safe Glass Solutions
out of Seattle. Abel has been retained by each of the plaintiff firms,
The first of the two was a $1 million suit against B. Lester Pearson Collegiate
Institute and the Toronto District School board involving Ravelle Sidial,
whose arm allegedly went through a wired glass door after running through
the hallway at the Institute, according to court documents. Sidial suffered
“severed tendons to his right hand and a severed artery” which required
surgery and “extensive and painful physiotherapy.”
Sidial’s initial claim, which included accusations of negligence regarding
the school and board’s safety practices, was filed in July of 2010 and
is still in litigation, as is a later case involving Devon King, who initially
claimed damages totaling $2 million against Best Value Motel Inc.
In 2009, King allegedly pushed on a door at the Days Inn Kingston (Ontario)
made of wired glass, which resulted in the glass panel shattering and
“permanent and serious injury to Devon’s arm and shoulder,” according
to court documents. The door allegedly had a sign that read “push” on
the glass panel King’s arm went through. Abel says King has since changed
law firms, and he expects both King and Sidial’s cases will come to a
The third case, however, involving Sergio Jiminez and the Board of Education
Morris Hills Regional District in New Jersey, was initially filed in January
of 2013 and is still early in the litigation process.
Jiminez filed a claim alleging he suffered permanent injuries when his
arm went through a window made of wired glass as he was leaving school
one afternoon in early February 2011. According to court documents, Jiminez
claims his injuries were “a direct result of the defendants’ failure to
adequately operate, design, maintain, repair, and/or upkeep the glass
window in the door at the school building.”
Abel, who has been a leading advocate for safe glass practices since his
son was injured in a wired glass accident in 2001, says that he’s pleased
the recent attention has been brought to the issue of the risk of wired
glass, but hopes the powers that be keep the pedal down this time around.
“We start to gain some momentum, and then another priority will take its
place. And we don’t get back on track until the next tragic event,” he
says. “. . . That’s the part that really bothers me,” he says, adding,
“This is an issue that’s been ongoing for many, many years. Many children
have suffered the consequences of our lack of addressing it. Now as a
result, what it took was filing a lawsuit against one of largest school
districts in all of Canada for a rather large sum of money to get the
attention, to say, ‘Okay, we can’t ignore this any longer.’”
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